My IoT Home Products – Raves & Reviews

I have a very connected home, all built a few years ago around a Gen1 SmartThings Hub.   I mix ZigBee, Z-Wave, Wifi and home-grown RPi or Arduino controlled devices.  Hopefully this post will show some of the available options out there.

My Hub: SmartThings Gen 1 –  It sometimes disconnects or their APIs go down for a few minutes, but overall it has been OK since Samsung bought them.


Connectivity: TP Link Powerline AV200 Nano ethernet to run it back to my Amplifi Mesh Wi-Fi router.  These are insanely easy to pair.  If your power is all on one circuit breaker, just plug them in and press the sync button on each.

I do not have my hub next to my router directly plugged in, since Gen 1 did not autodetect ZigBee interference and change channels.


Voice Controls

  • Amazon Echo, courtesy of Cohesity from my Storage Field Day appearance
    • You tell it to import your devices from Smart Things, then setup rooms



Light Switches:


  • Aeon Labs Z-Wave Minimote
    • For simple control of my devices anywhere in the house.
    • Recharged via MiniUSB
    • 8 buttons, with press/hold support
    • I think it’s discontinued but still available some places online

Door/Window Sensors


Power Outlets


  • Aeon Labs DSC06106-ZWUS – Z-Wave Smart Energy Switch
    • High wattage (1875w) for larger appliances such as air conditioner
    • It’s a beast

  • Inovelli 2 outlet
    • Works as a Z-Wave/Z-Wave Plus repeater
    • 1 always on outlet, 1 smart outlet


  • AVOID: Belkin Wemo Outlett
    • This is utter crap!
    • Don’t buy anything Wemo!




  • Philips Hue White Ambiance w/ Hue Hub (Integrated to SmartThings)
    • Hue lights are near-Zigbee but not quite Zigbee lights, so you will need the Hue Hub as well.
    • I have some scenes with up to 9 bulbs in it.  My old Cree lights would broadcast flood as ZB repeaters and basically crash before the scene command (on/off/change settings) completed.
    • Use this instruction to integrate your Hue lights to Smart Things.


  • Cree Connected Daylight Bulbs
    • Update:  My love for them is gone.  I am barely using these any longer.
      • Cree lights try and fail to work as Zigbee repeaters, and end up flooding each other out before scenes completely.   I can switched over to using Philips Hue White Ambiance lights.
    • Home depot has stock left over.
    • Sometimes SmartThings has problems with lighting routines with lots of lights

Safety / Security

  • Nest Protect Smoke Alarms
    • In every room, hallway, basement
    • It performs monthly sound and healthchecks
    • Nightlight functionality for a few seconds when lights go off
    • App enabled for silencing or warning when away
    • Meshed: When one goes off, they ALL go off.   They tell you where the primary issue is, spoken.


  • Nest Cam – Outdoors
    • Multiple outside, and on my turtle tank
    • Simple to install, screw in aa base, Camera is magnetically mounted
    • Good resolution
    • Auto switches to night mode
    • Power needs to be within 20ft, and in a secure area





Services & Misc:

    • A web or app hub is great, but for complex routings, you’ll want IFTTT!
  • DO
    • Owned/ran by IFTTT
    • Simple phone app. Press a button on app and it ties into IFTTT which ties into my IoT world
  • Amazon Lambda
    • Good for linking web based triggers or API calls to IFTTT to Devices and vice versa
    • Used with Amazon IoTT Buttton
  • Amazon IoT button
    • On Press: Makes an API call to Amazon Lambda serverless web service
    • Use Node.js or other languages to call out a program to fire actions.

  • Raspberry Pi and Arduino
    • When ever I need something one-off or specific done
    • Example:  Smoke or fire above my 3d printer
      • IoT smoke detector alarms
      • If temperature increases, trigger action
        • Kills power to 3d printer outlet
        • Triggers Arduino controlled servo
          • Servo presses small bottle of fire extinguishing spray



I’m sure I forgot about something. I’ll add to this list later.











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